Understanding The Bail Process

17 March 2019
 Categories: Finance & Money, Blog


Very few things in life are more disturbing than discovering that a family member has been arrested and is being held in jail. Naturally, in this situation, you want to get your loved one released from confinement as soon as possible. To do this, you need to have a basic understanding of the bail process. This article examines bail and bail procedures.

What is Bail?

Bail is a condition, or set of conditions, that the legal system imposes on those charged with a crime regarding their release from custody. When a detainee agrees to these conditions, they are released until their next court appearance. Typically, bail requires the person charged with a crime to put up a sum of money or valuable property as collateral for their appearance in court. If the suspect does not appear in court as agreed, they are considered to be fugitives from the law and the collateral is lost.

An important point to keep in mind is that not everyone will be granted bail. The law considers some crimes, such as murder, to be so serious that bail is not allowed and the suspect is kept in custody until a court verdict has been reached.

How to Pay

If your family member has been charged with a crime that is not too serious and does not have a significant criminal record, then their bail might be set low and you might simply pay the bail with your funds or your family member's assets. In some cases, depending on the jurisdiction, you might be able to obtain a release by paying only a percentage of the bail, but it's important to note that you can be held responsible for the full amount if the suspect fails to appear in court at the designated time.

Bail Bonds

In many, if not most instances, families do not have the resources to pay the full bail amount and the jurisdiction does not accept percentage payments. When this happens, you need the assistance of bail bonds firm to get your loved one released. These companies will guarantee the bail for your family members in exchange for a fee, which is generally about 10 percent of the bail. In addition to the fee, you will need to put up some type of collateral so that the bond firm does not lose money if the defendant does not appear in court. The most common types of collateral are liens on a property, such as a house, vehicles and valuable possessions such as gold jewelry. Although you recover all the rights to your collateral when your loved one's case is adjudicated, the company keeps their fee.

For more information about this subject, contact a bail bond firm in your area.